By now, you’ve probably seen Michael J. Fox receive his 2015 Nike Mags and test out the innovative Power Laces. But the question still remains, how exactly do those things work? Thanks to Forbes, we now have a breakdown of the mechanics involved:
The automatic lacing system consists of two separate parts around the foot and ankle. In the lower part, the self-lacing system has a strap moving mechanism located in a cavity within the sole of the shoe. It’s powered by a small motor that rotates a driveshaft with two gears; the gears transfer power to two belts attached to the laces.
The ankle cinching system in the shoe’s upper part uses a different mechanism and would lie behind your achilles tendon. It uses a coil spring wrapped around a shaft that ultimately pulls on the ankle strap. The belt stays tight thanks to a locking mechanism, which is disengaged by the shoe’s control system.
The two strap moving mechanisms are automatically triggered after your body mass is detected by a weight sensor in the heel. For adjustments, there are even manual controls: press a green button to tighten the straps, red to loosen them.
It’s that easy!